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Old 29-04-2009, 19:48   #1
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Contemplating a Keys Trip

Hey folks!
Well, we moved aboard Faith's Wind about 6 weeks ago and are currently mowing about in Tarpon Springs Fl... We are however, wanting to go to the Fl Keys in the next week or so.

Problem one:
I have heard that they are giving out tickets to cruisers who are not flying the local Keys Flag....?!? What is that all about??

Problem two:
I have also heard that they are also ticketing for not having a locked (with padlock) Y valve... My boat is WAY too old for that... lol

Anyone have any input on one or both of these? Better yet, is there anyone that is in the Keys that can confirm this?

Also, I heard today that they are giving folks a hard time about putting lights and safety equipment on dinghy's...


See you on the Blue! :-)
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Old 29-04-2009, 20:41   #2
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Quote:
Also, I heard today that they are giving folks a hard time about putting lights and safety equipment on dinghy's...
If a dinghy has a motor then it's true. It's just another boat and needs proper gear as well as registration with numbers displayed. that is true every place.

I can't confirm any of the other two though number 1 can't be true. It's not a law. Number 2 is true in some parts of the US. I don't know if it is true in FL. Boating in FL is under FL regulations not some local set of rules. The exception being anchoring where some localities decided they would add some restrictions. That issue is unsettled.
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Old 30-04-2009, 06:23   #3
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I thought the law on Y-valves was a federal one, and applies to all boats with an installed head (no grandfathering that I know of!). If you have a y-valve that allows overboard discharge, it needs to be locked in the "onboard" position when within certain limits. Apparently (by my reading) a non-removable wire-tie is acceptable.
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Old 30-04-2009, 07:31   #4
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If you are within three nautical miles you must have the Y-valve diverting to the holding tank. If you are in a "No Discharge Zone" the Y-valve must be chained, wire tied, or have the handle removed in the tank diverting position. You would have to determine if the area you are in is "No Discharge". No vessel is grandfathered on discharge requirements. All must comply. If you do not have a Y-valve because your head only pumps to a tank and then you must use a separate pump to pump out the tank, play it safe and chain the overboard valve shut. If you chain up both the Y-valve and the overboard valve you would have all the bases covered and nobody will bother you.
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Old 30-04-2009, 09:17   #5
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Drill a hole in the handle, and use a zip tie will have you complying..........i2f
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Old 30-04-2009, 10:51   #6
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Drill a hole in the handle, and use a zip tie will have you complying
Unless you have an MSD II in which case you can skip the whole locking thing and just stay the out of the NDZ unless you do lock it and keep your legs crossed.

You can anchor next to me if you don't get too close (See Mark's post on being too close).
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Old 30-04-2009, 20:59   #7
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the CFR now requires all black water overboards valves to be locked shut or shut and handles removed. The CG is checking for this now. I did a simple hole thru the handle and a block of wood glued to hull and a small piece of wire and pad lock. N longer any thng about theY valve
Not sure what the Keys flag is but last time I checked it was still part of US. You could humor the locals.
I have seen the local water police crack down on dinghy requirements at times.
Here is the CFR 33 159.7


a) No person may operate any vessel equipped with installed toilet facilities unless it is equipped with:
(1) An operable Type II or III device that has a label on it under 159.16 or that is certified under 159.12 or 159.12a; or
(2) An operable Type I device that has a label on it under 159.16 or that is certified under 159.12, if the vessel is 19.7 meters (65 feet) or less in length.
(b) When operating a vessel on a body of water where the discharge of treated or untreated sewage is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 140.3 or 140.4, the operator must secure each Type I or Type II device in a manner which prevents discharge of treated or untreated sewage. Acceptable methods of securing the device include—
(1) Closing the seacock and removing the handle;
(2) Padlocking the seacock in the closed position;
(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold the seacock in the closed position; or
(4) Locking the door to the space enclosing the toilets with a padlock or door handle key lock.
(c) When operating a vessel on a body of water where the discharge of untreated sewage is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 140.3, the operator must secure each Type III device in a manner which prevents discharge of sewage. Acceptable methods of securing the device include—
(1) Closing each valve leading to an overboard discharge and removing the handle;
(2) Padlocking each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position; or
(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position.
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Old 01-05-2009, 15:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atraitees View Post
...Problem one:
I have heard that they are giving out tickets to cruisers who are not flying the local Keys Flag....?!? What is that all about?? ...
The residents of the Keys, also know as "Conchs", are a fiercely independent breed, and have formed their very own Conch Republic. You can actually buy an official passport and Conch Republic flag. This may or may not help you find a mooring buoy or dinghy dock, but it will lighten the load in your rear trouser pocket, where your wallet is stored.
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Old 01-05-2009, 18:34   #9
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"the CFR now requires all black water overboards valves to be locked"
No, it does not. Your own quote confirms that the CFR only requires it to be SECURED, not LOCKED. Florida's boating laws echo the CR and require SECURED not LOCKED.

The USCG policy was adjusted several Commandants ago from their Gestapo policies to conform with the CFR, and indeed a zip tie or a couple of wraps of strapping tape are sufficient. "Secured" means it can't accidentally or quickly be moved, some intentional action is needed that can be seen and found by a timely inspection.

If you receive a summons contrary to this, appeal it and press charges against whoever issued it, because the USCG has already been taken to task and they are aware that "locks" are not required by the law. Whoever issues such a summons would be found guilty of misfeasance or malfeasance, and receive a negative comment in their permanent service record.

The Florida state boating regulations can all be found online from
FWC - Boating Rules & Regulations summary
including links to a complete PDF file.

The official lighting regulations are at
Florida Boating License and Boat Safety Course - Navigation Light Requirements

Why listen to strangers on the internet when it is so so easy to get the official regs directly from the folks who write and enforce them?
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Old 01-05-2009, 23:27   #10
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Read the whole sentence don't cut part of it off. "the CFR now requires all black water overboards valves to be locked shut or shut and handles removed." That was why I put the CFR it the post. Please look the definition of secured up locked is part the definition.
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Old 02-05-2009, 15:52   #11
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Gudgeon, I didn't cut naything off or change the meaning of it. Your posting of the CFR, which I am assuming is the correct quote of it, says that ALLOWABLE METHODS MAY INCLUDE and then lists some. That does not mean that you must use the listed methods, it only means that the listed methods are accepted among the larger universe of allowable methods that will meet the criteria.

The USCG learned the hard way--through the courts--that when the legislature writes "secured" that means secured, NOT LOCKED or anything else. Feel free to get paranoid about this, but the issue is an old one that has long been resolved. If the CFR has added EXAMPLES, that only means those examples are specifically accepted. It does not mean that anything else is rejected.

"Please look the definition of secured" Unless it is defined in a section of the CFR that you did not quote, this is just one more example of badly written legislation. Well-written legislation always includes definitions, rather than just examples.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:14   #12
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The CG was on our docks a few months back. They informed my friend that a zip tie would be enough. Right out of the horse's mouth......i2f
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:55   #13
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"The CG was on our docks a few months back."
Unless it was the new commandant himself <G> remember the guys on the docks can be overruled by every senior officer in the service. Happily, the guys you met were following the official party line as per the last three or four Commandants.

You've got to figure, potty patrol is about the last thing they signed up to do.<G>
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Old 29-05-2009, 09:08   #14
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What great responses! Thx a lot guys. Sorry to open the can of worms on the "y" valve regs, but kudos for posting them here. We are currently moving southward toward Port Charlott. We will not have time to get to Marathon and back before July. We have to help run a youth camp for a week... That will be our last "community" commitment. Then we plan to head to Marathon and then over to the Bahammas for the winter. I suppose I could think of a lot worse places to go.... lol

As far as the whole flag thing goes,... I have not found anything that state cruisers have to fly them. Please feel free to email me any info you have on the subject.

Thx again!!
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Old 29-05-2009, 09:31   #15
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Part of the 'flag thing' could be the standard "let's judge the book by the cover" thing.

You see a courtesy flag? OK, that means the folks flying it have some observance for tradititions, and enough spare cash to buy the flag. that might make them worth entertaining as valued guests who an spend other spare dollars there.

No flag? Eh, boat bums, roust 'em and shake 'em down. "No shoes, no shirt, no service" may not always be right, but it is how most of the world operates, because it works more often than not.
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